I always wanted to try this stuff out and see how well it works...in a planted tank.
Tank: 20G long
Time frame: 3 months
Substrate: Cheap coated gravel
Lighting: twin GE plant & aquarium 20W NO florescent bulbs
Filter: Eheim Ecco 2232 comfort
Plants: Mixture of easy to grow (& hardy) low to medium light plants. Not quite lush growth but I would call it a moderately well planted tank.
Fish: 4 cherry barbs, 5 black neon tetras, 1 betta, 4 ghost shrimp.
Dosing: 5mL Tropica "aquacare" fertilizer after weekly partial water change. 1 mL of Flourish excel every other day.
Decor: 2 small pieces of drift wood and one ceramic pot.
I "soft" cycled this tank by putting in a ton of plants all at once with some fish at the same time. Additionally the purigen is supposed to take care of much of the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (yes this might be bad for the plants, hence the experimentation on a smaller tank).
NH4 has never been registered in this tank. Nitrites have never been registered. Nitrates are staying around 5 to 10ppm. PO4
below what my kit can reliably detect.
The animals seem healthy and happy (despite the slightly crowded conditions).
The plants are growing well. The Java fern appears to be slightly starved of nutrients (the new "baby" ferns are starting out with slightly translucent leaves).
No brown algae has ever developed in this tank. Some brush algae that hitched a ride in with the plants is present but not growing (might be receding slowly, more direct observation needed to confirm or refute this claim).
Today I pulled the purigen out. I will continue to monitor the parameters every other day over the next week. I am expecting the Nitrates to eventually climb up to 20ppm without the purigen, but hopefully the plants will begin to get more nutrients and grow well enough to prevent algae from making use of the excess nitrates.
My purigen is now a nice muddy brown and no longer white. I will need to "regenerate" it with some chlorine.